Workers strike over pay

WORKERS at the Oasis group of lodges in Polokwane went on strike yesterday after their employer failed to pay their salaries.

The workers said they were told there was no money to pay them.

Sowetan visited the 58 workers yesterday at their workplace and found them basking in the sun.

They have been on strike since April 28 when their employer told them they would not get their salaries because there was no money to pay them.

Most of the workers have been employed at the lodge for more than 10 years.

They said the employer started making payments a week or so late inNovember.

When the workers raised the matter with management they were told there were no funds. They said management had told shop stewards to inform them of the situation.

Thabitha Matlebjane, a shop steward, told Sowetan that the non-payment of salaries affected everybody since they were staying in rented accommodation that had to be paid on time.

"Most of us are facing eviction because we failed to pay our rent at the end of the month," Matlebjane said.

She said when they embarked on the strike action the employer brought in a labour broker, who summoned the workers to a hearing.

They were still awaiting the outcome of the hearing from the broker.

The company has branches in Seshego, Giyani and neighbouring Botswana.

"We have worked tirelessly to make the company what it is today and for management to treat us like rotten potatoes is unfair," she said.

Approached for comment yesterday, the company's owner, Abdul Essack, said he would not comment until he had received a report from the labour broker.